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News article2 December 2022European Anti-Fraud Office1 min read

OLAF and UNHCR sign agreement to protect humanitarian aid from fraud

OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä and Inspector General of the UNHCR Anthony Garnett on the day of the signature
OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä (on the right) and Inspector General of the UNHCR Anthony Garnett

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed a working arrangement on fighting fraud, corruption and other illegal activities.

OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä and Inspector General of the UNHCR Anthony Garnett signed the administrative cooperation arrangement this morning, Friday 2 December, in OLAF’s offices in Brussels. The new framework covers areas such as exchanges of information, cooperation in investigative activities, risk analysis and training.

Whilst it does not create new obligations under international or EU law, the arrangement serves to strengthen and streamline the existing cooperation between OLAF and the UNHCR. It will now become even easier for the two bodies to work together and keep making sure that humanitarian aid goes to those who desperately need it and is not lost to fraud instead.

This is all the more relevant taking into account that the EU alone was the third largest single donor to UNHCR after the United States and Germany in 2021, giving €179 million to help protect refugees and the forcibly displaced. The UNHCR is also an important EU partner for the response to the crisis in Ukraine, with its revised Refugee Response Plan.

This is the fourth cooperation arrangements that OLAF signs with UN offices and agencies, the other three being with: the Office of Internal Oversight Services of the United Nations Headquarters; the Office of Audit and Investigations of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).


Publication date
2 December 2022
European Anti-Fraud Office
News type
  • OLAF news article